Friday, 10 December 2010

After the Big Freeze... the Big Thaw: Britain basks in balmy blast from the West



Braving the cold: Clyde the seal pup with frozen whiskers copes with extreme temperatures at Hessilhead Rescue centre in Beith, Ayrshire

- Overnight lows of -15C in Scotland and -13C in England

- Experts say cold snap is 'once in a lifetime'

- Army called in to help councils clear away ice and snow

The whole of Britain was today enjoying a thaw - with all parts of the country above freezing for the first time since the cold spell struck last month.

Temperatures will even reach double figures in places as shivering Britons get a balmy blast of weather from the West.

And there's more good news for the weekend, with the Met Office forecasting temperatures of up to 8c (46f) - although temperatures are set to plummet again by the middle of next week.

Two women pull a pushchair down a road near the Royal Hospital for sick Children, Edinburgh

Gemma Plumb, a MeteoGroup weather forecaster said: 'It is going to be a lot less cold. We will probably see a maximum temperature of between 7C (44.6F) and 10C (50F) today.

'It will be warmest in the North and West of Scotland, but the warmer front will spread all over the country.

'We'll see some of the snow starting to melt, but it is going to start getting cold again on Saturday night, with the possibility of more snow towards the end of next week.'

The Met Office has warned that, despite the temperature increases, people should still look out for ice.

A spokesman said: 'With surfaces remaining very cold, there is a risk of icy conditions developing almost anywhere, particularly where skies clear overnight and during the first part of the morning.

'The highest risk is in parts of central and eastern Scotland and northeast England.'

Scotland, much of which ground to a halt this week in the worst snow since the 1960s, was on thaw alert after a spate of flood-related incidents from melting ice and snow.

A man uses a shovel to remove snow from the roof of a house in Edinburgh

Christmas lamb: The freezing conditions didn't stop the birth of Snowy the lamb in Llangibby, north Wales

Western areas of the UK will be warmest today, with 10c (50f) expected in the South West, north Wales and western Scotland.

Northern parts of Britain will feel slightly chillier in a brisk north west breeze.
It will stay above freezing all day and through the night, dipping to 1c in the coldest parts of the Highlands.

Colder conditions are then set to return on Sunday and into next week, with more snow and ice expected up until Christmas.

Britain has seen temperatures as low as minus 20c (-4f) since the country was gripped by the cold spell on November 23.

The weather started improving yesterday, with Strathclyde Fire & Rescue attending more than 120 flood-related incidents due to melting ice and burst pipes.

The thaw also means that pedestrians run the risk of being hit by icicles and snow falling from buildings.

And emergency services warned that rising temperatures were weakening already dangerous ice cover on frozen lochs and ponds.

Polar bears enjoying Scotland's big freeze

source: dailymail

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